Biden lays out plan for America 'on the move again' in address to Congress

Sen. Tim Scott delivered the Republican response to Biden's address.

On his 99th day in office, Biden made the case for his policy agenda and updated the nation in his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Biden finished his speech with a great message of hope for Americans who overcame a year of tumult, saying that he is "more confident or optimistic about America."

"Folks, as I told every world leader I ever met with over the years, it's never ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America and it still isn't," Biden said, to a great round of applause. "There is not a single thing, nothing, nothing beyond our capacity. We can do whatever we set our minds to if we do it together. So let's begin to get together."

Sen. Tim Scott’s Republican response followed.

"Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words," Scott said. "But three months in, the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart."

Following Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress, Vice President Kamala Harris will sit down for an exclusive interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday.

Key takeaways from Biden's 1st address to a joint session of Congress

President Joe Biden is no stranger to the State of the Union and joint addresses to Congress after 36 years in the Senate and eight years as vice president, but Wednesday night, he finally got to deliver one of his own -- a speech that looked back on the president's accomplishments and pitched ahead to his future agenda.

The speech looked different than in years past, with COVID-19 keeping the audience confined and putting a larger emphasis on the television audience at home -- likely Biden's biggest audience of the year outside of his inauguration.

One day shy of his 100th day in office, Biden made the case for his future agenda.

Here are the key takeaways from Biden's first joint address to Congress:

Biden champions government's role -- with messages for both parties: ANALYSIS

Of all the sweeping ideas President Joe Biden laid out Wednesday night -- trillions in new spending, vast new investments in health care, education, the environment, infrastructure, police reform and more -- the most grandiose notion he offered may be the concept that national unity is possible, and maybe even close at hand.

Perhaps more notable is how he sees the nation getting closer to his vision of "one people, one nation, one America."

The progress Biden sees coming depends on government -- new spending, new programs and new opportunities powered by dramatic increases in government spending -- even if that means essentially forgoing goals of bipartisanship.

"These are the investments we make together, as one country, and that only the government can make," the president said.

Biden has at times seemed conflicted between the deal-making lawmaker he was over decades in the Senate, and the opportunity he sees for making transformative changes as president. His first address to a joint session of Congress had him edging toward the latter persona over the former.

More from ABC News Political Director Rick Klein's analysis:

Intraparty divisions on display in progressive response to Biden address

The growing chasm between the splintering factions of the Democratic Party was on full display as Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., delivered a response to Biden's address from the Working Families Party. He outlined the progressive agenda and magnified intraparty divisions.

Bowman called on Biden to be more aggressive in pursuing progressive policies, citing the Democratic control of the White House and Congress.

"We need to seize this moment. Republicans have made themselves clear. They tried to steal the election, incited an insurrection, and they believe Derek Chauvin is innocent of murdering George Floyd," Bowman said. "So it’s on us, as Democrats and progressives, to meet the gravity of the moment. And history will judge our actions."

Bowman outlined policy goals on issues including taxing the rich, climate change and voting rights.

Vice President Kamala Harris appears on GMA Thursday

Following Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress, Vice President Kamala Harris will sit down for an exclusive interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday.